Wednesday, May 12, 2021



My friend tree

I sawed you down

but I must attend

an older friend

the sun

You are my friend —

you bring me peaches

and the high bush cranberry

                        you carry

my fishpole

you water my worms

you patch my boot

with your mending kit

                        nothing in it

but my hand


         when the leaves


from their stems

          that lie thick

                   on the walk

in the light

          of the full note

                     the moon


          to leaves

                       when they leave

the little

           thin things


I knew a clean man

but he was not for me.

Now I sew green aprons

over covered seats.  He

wades the muddy water fishing,

falls in, dries his last pay-check

in the sun, smooths it out

in Leaves of Grass.  He's

the one for me.

Remember my little granite pail?

The handle of it was blue.

Think what's got away in my life —

Was enough to carry me thru.


Lorine Niedecker

from The Granite Pail

Gnomon Press, 1995

reprinted by permission of Bob Arnold

Literary Executor for the estate of Lorine Niedecker


photograph above:

Lorine Niedecker playing the ukelele near the Rock River as a young woman.

Hoard Historical Museum.